Mexico GP: Verstappen leads Albon in eventful Practice 1

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Max Verstappen led Alex Albon in the opening practice session at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

In front of a partisan crowd firmly behind his teammate, the reigning world champion was undeterred as he led from the get-go at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Albon also showed strong pace throughout the opening hour to sit second, pipping home favourite Sergio Perez in third.

The early part of the session saw teams running on a mix of mediums, hards and prototype C4 compound tyres, with Verstappen leading Alex Albon's Williams by just 0.004s.

Several drivers had issues with Alfa Romeo junior Theo Pourchaire reporting a brake pedal problem that limited him to only four laps as the team couldn't find a solution.

A hydraulics problem briefly interrupted Carlos Sainz's session, while Lando Norris also had a strange over-revving issue from his power unit exiting the pits.

Fernando Alonso was also a late starter in his Aston Martin but emerged in the final 15 minutes.

After the soft tyre runs, Verstappen remained on top, posting a 1m19.718s. Albon continued to shine in second, less than a tenth behind Max and splitting the Red Bulls with home hero Sergio Perez in third.

Norris led Charles Leclerc, Oscar Piastri and Sainz as a quarter of a second covered the McLarens and Ferraris in P4 to P7.

Daniel Ricciardo took P8 for AlphaTauri, Esteban Ocon ninth and Lance Stroll completed the top 10.

Lewis Hamilton was only 11th, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in 12th, Zhou Guanyu in 13th and Logan Sargeant in 14th.

Oliver Bearman claimed the best junior driver position in 15th for Haas, beating the hampered Alonso in 16th.

Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar was 17th for AlphaTauri, Jack Doohan 18th in the Alpine and Frederik Vesti 19th for Mercedes.

Pourchaire failed to set a time in 20th.